This information is produced by the Save Laburnum School Campaign and does not claim to represent the School itself or the School Governors.
“The Council haven’t told anyone they are looking to close the school, and this is meant to be the consultation period,” said Sharon Bender, mother of Cain Lowe, 11. “I’ve had nothing through from the Council. It’s only because I’ve read in the Gazette or the Hackney Independent or been told by the Governors. This isn’t consultation.”
The New Deal schemes are a prime example of this. The government offered Shoreditch £50 million for regeneration, and set up a board partly comprised of local people to ensure it was spent in our interests. Local people said they wanted the money to be spent on refurbishing homes. The government said ‘no’. The money will only be spent if the community agrees to less council homes in the area and more high-rent or private flats. Now Shoreditch Our Way, eager to please the government, is using the money to buy public land to sell for private flats – claiming this is a victory for local people! ShOW have commissioned reports that recommend the demolition of council housing. Even their plans for the reopening of Haggerston Pool include the development of private flats.
Another recent example is the plan to redevelop Kingsland Basin. £116 million is to be ‘invested’ in the area by a private developer to build ‘live-work’ units, ie yuppie flats, but there will be no affordable housing for local people. Even MP Brian Sedgemore – not known for speaking up about the effects of regeneration in his constituency – has spoken out about the yuppie invasion. De Beauvoir estate’s tenants & residents association are right to point to the fact that Kingsland basin will be lost to local people if the development goes ahead.
The director of the company involved, Investland, says “they would rather lift people out of social housing by providing jobs than create more social housing” (Hackney Gazette, 18 July 2002). How stupid do these people think we are?!
More private flats to buy or at high rents means less affordable housing for local families. Sons and daughters are forced to move away as property prices soar and affordable housing vanishes. The new city workers don’t need a lot of the facilities that local people do, so the swimming baths are shut, nurseries and youth facilities are threatened. New shops and bars don’t employ local people and don’t charge prices we can afford.
The Council is not neutral in this process. It encourages the process of regeneration – and the privatisation that goes with it : the council makes it harder for working class people to stay in the area by cutting funding to the nurseries and clubs etc that local people depend on; it collects rent but often does no repairs, deliberately running down some estates so people will welcome new private landlords that will charge higher rents; it sells its land to property developers who build more expensive flats but it does not reinvest the money where it is needed.
Regeneration is a massive con trick being perpetrated by New Labour, the other political parties and their middle class cheer-leaders. Hackney Independent opposes it in its current form because we are sick of being pushed around and pushed out, of being patronised and dictated to, because we should be given a real say in how we run our own lives…
Please help CAB to continue it’s vital work, by giving your support through contacting Max Caller now at Hackney Council on 020 8356 5000.
Summary: Below is a letter written by concerned people who run a project in Hackney, which provides an area for children to play and enables the parents to leave their kids there and seek work. Guess what – the council are removing funding.
Who will look after the children Grandparents? If the project gets 90 days notice, so will the grandparents then. Our project offers integration, friends to play with in a safe environment, trained skilled staff (police checked). So we do hope the Association of London Government are going to contact us soon and not at the last moment. Yes it is a worry for us as we are on the front line. We need some answers as we are parents living here, supporting this project.